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Wednesday / May 18.
HomeminewsEyeQ Optometrists Launch Associate Network

EyeQ Optometrists Launch Associate Network

Two of Optometry Australia’s state presidents are among the first to join a new Associate Network of independent full-scope optometry practices launched by EyeQ Optometrists Ltd (EQO).

EQO now has 19 practices within the network, 16 of which are corporate-owned with the remaining three being the first Associate sites.

Darrell Baker, Optometry Australia’s President in Western Australia was the first to join the network. He was followed by optometrist Bayd Rosenbaum and then David Foresto President of OA Queensland/NT.

Ray Fortescue, optometrist, founding director and current Executive Chairman of EQO, said the organisation had been working on developing the network concept for a number of years.

“We needed to create systems and strategies which allowed our practices to be both profitable as well as professionally satisfying for the optometrist and practice staff while providing expert care to our patients,” said Mr. Fortescue. “We also noted that many Generation X, Y and Next optometrists were not sufficiently confident utilising the existing business support options available, to commence a new practice or even to take over an existing independent practice on their own.”

Darrell Baker, who established his independent EyeQ practice last September (2014) in the upmarket Perth suburb of Karrinyup, said he was attracted to the group by the business strategies and back end administrative support on offer.

“After many years in a large independent group-practice the time had come to branch out in my own practice. Obviously I was very comfortable with my clinical ability and experience but as so often happens in a multi-site group there were areas of practice management which had not been my responsibility and as such, I was looking for that support in any new venture I might consider. I felt that I needed more than a buying group could offer.”

David Foresto, who joined EyeQ with his practice at Spring Hill, in Brisbane CBD this month (April 2015), said the flexibility of the EyeQ model appealed to him. “Being in a health care precinct like Wickham Terrace and having a strong focus on specialised contact lenses I wanted a practice where I can maintain absolute clinical independence whilst having the back-end monotony of book keeping and payroll taken care of for me. I’m looking forward to an exciting future for Foresto EyeQ Optometrists as well as the optometric profession which I love and will continue to serve.”

Last December (2014) Bayd Rosenbaum, an optometrist with an extensive clinical background, but minimal experience as a practice principal, opened his brand new practice in the idyllic seaside town of Merimbula on the far south coast of NSW.

Mr. Rosenbaum said his first few months had been positive. “It is a big step to ‘Greenfield’ an independent optometry practice in a competitive market. With the advice and direction of EyeQ we have got off to a very encouraging start. The design phase and practice fit out has been relatively trouble-free. Our initial training, support on opening day and ongoing assistance has been wonderful”, he said. Additionally he said, with EyeQ Optometrists National Office managing the administration, “we get the benefits of running a small business without the downside of out-of-hours bookwork”.

The EyeQ board and management team consist primarily of experienced optometrists, and according to Mr. Fortescue, this “extensive optometric experience in our executive team allows EyeQ to better relate to the needs of the independent practitioner”.

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